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Valley non-profit shares how technology changes how we mourn

Losing someone can be one of the hardest thing you can ever go through and especially if you have a significant relationship with that person. 

Losing someone can be one of the hardest things you ever go through, especially if you have a significant relationship with that person.

According to the National Mental Health Association, in the U.S., 8 million people suffered through the death of someone in their immediate family last year, including 800,000 new widows and widowers.

The emotions that come after losing someone can be difficult for many, but the question is, how should you really mourn?

The way we mourn has significantly changed throughout time.

Before, there wasn't an outlet to pour out our grief or support. It was more of showing a presence at a funeral or vigil and keeping the memory the person who has died in your thoughts.

The way we mourn has been evolving every day. There is not a "right" way to mourn, but I can say it has become much easier to express support through social media.

It's so easy to send a quick tweet, Facebook message and even Instagram post to show or gain instant support because nowadays, we live in the moment online.

It takes a significant amount of courage and strength to mourn openly on social media.

Recently, a local non-profit based in Peoria called Billy's Place caught my attention.

Billy's Place is a grief support group for children ages 3-18 and their immediate family members.

I had the chance to talk with the founder of Billy's Place, Juli Schragel and Kris Friedman to talk about their non-profit and gave their thoughts on how technology has drastically changed the way people mourn.

"Well, Juli actually does our social media and she does a great job. She hears from people across the country that let her know what she posted that day just hit home and made them feel like they weren't alone," said Friedman.

In my opinion, when people see a strong quote or story on social media and it gives powerful impact, it most likely open a door of openness. People become more open when they see others opening up.

"It's kind of a great way to continually let people know that it's OK to talk about it and it's OK to feel the way they feel whether it's anger or sad or guilty or whatever their emotions are," continues Friedman in regards to people mourning on social media.

Billy's Place's Facebook page does just that: It helps people feel comfortable to open up about something personal, dear to their hearts -- like mourning.

If you would like to get more information on Billy's Place and check out their events, head to www.billysplace.me.

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